From John Obadiah Westwood 23 November 1856
My dear Sir
The descriptions given by Tellkampf of the insects found by him in the Kentucky Cave are not sufficiently precise to enable us to determine the points in question with precision1
His adelops is however evidently identical generically with the European species of the same Genus ten of which have been already described as cave insects & several others not cave insects but found in damp dark places— We have one if not two of this Genus in England.— I do not know if the genus Adelops has been found elsewhere in America Neither can I tell whether the american Anophthalmus has been found out of the Caves or whether there is any other American Species of the same genus as I have not the last American Catalogue of Coleoptera at hand (Lacordaire only gives one American Anophthalmus. & no American Pristonychus.)2
I cannot do better than refer you to Dr Wallich’s Translation of Schiodtes remarkable paper published in the Trans. Ent.l Society New Ser. Vol. 1.—which I think from your letter you cannot have seen—3
As there have only been three or 4 American Cave insects descrid it follows that, as at present known, many of the European cave genera have no American representatives All we can say is that Adelops & Anophthalmus occur especially in caverns & in both America & Europe.
My impression is that old coprophagous or at least fossorial insects blunt the points of the spines or teeth of their fore tibiæ with working—but I do not think they break off their tarsi ordinarily. There is in fact generally a place of lodgement for the tarsus on the inside of the extremity of the tibiæ
Believe me | Yours very sincerely | Jno O Westwood
Hammersmith | 23 Novr 1856
Lepdoderus Hohenwarti (Coleopt? new Fam.)5 —— angustatus —— sericeus Pristonychus6 elegans var. Schreibersi is this blind?7 Blothrus Schiödtii (scorpion)8 Titanethes albus (oniscus like) Polydesmus subteraneus Niphargus stygius (allied to Polydesmus)9 Anurophurus stillicidii (do?)10 Phalangopsis caricola. Grasshopper Cavicularia anophthalma (spider) Phalangium cancroides (do)11 Adelops12 Khavenhulleri13 (Coleopt.)14 Anophtalmus stomoides (Coleopt.) ——— Bilimeki15 ——— Scopolii16
F. J. Schmidt | “Laibacher Zeitung” | Nor 146. 4 Aug 1852.
The Kentucky cave insects (Adelops) are evidently identical to European species of the same genus, some of which are cave insects, others found in damp, dark places.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1998,” accessed on 24 February 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-1998